Edited By Mike Clark-Madison, Fri., Aug. 22, 2003
Quote of the Week: "I think he is in even better shape now than when he was governor. Most women I know think he is very attractive. A few have even told me they have crushes on him." -- Madeline Collier, vice chair of the Harris Co. GOP, quoted in the Houston Chronicle getting sweet on our American president -- a man who recently described his wife as "the lump in the bed next to me."
Still no quorum in the Texas Senate, whose bipartisan traditions have given way to petty and silly sanctions against the Albuquerque 11 -- like losing their parking spaces -- on top of rapidly escalating and unenforceable fines. The Dems promised to file suit, calling the GOP discipline "official oppression" and a violation of their civil rights. The second special session that wasn't ends Tuesday, Aug. 26, and Gov. Rick Perry has already promised to call a third session to address re-redistricting. See p.16.
The city budget battles continue apace, with hundreds of citizens descending upon the City Council to save community services from severe cutbacks. Meanwhile, Travis Co., Austin ISD, and Capital Metro are all wrangling with revenue squeezes of their own. For more on the city budget, see p.22; for more on AISD, see p.19. Capital Metro presents its budget -- which will need to bridge an $8 million estimated deficit due to declining sales-tax revenue -- next Monday.
No City Council meeting today (Thursday); next week's meeting, Aug. 28, will feature discussion of the controversial downsizing and "improvement" of the city development process. Presentations on this topic will be made to the city Zoning and Platting Commission on Tuesday and the Planning Commission on Wednesday. All those meetings begin at 6pm and are televised on Channel 6. More on this next week.
Back to School News: Admit it, you didn't know it either. The Texas Pledge of Allegiance is "Honor the Texas flag; I pledge allegiance to thee, Texas, one and indivisible." Texas schoolchildren now have to say "thee" every morning, thanks to legislation passed this spring, just before their government-issued moment of silence.
In other back-to-school news, UT-Austin slipped to No. 6 in the Princeton Review's list of best party schools. (University of Colorado is No. 1.) Despite the best efforts of departed coach Dave Bliss to sleaze up Baylor University's image, the Baptist Vatican did not make the list.